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If you like Toby Keith or Vince Gill, this guy will be on your favorites list from now.

12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Modern Country, COUNTRY: Country Rock

Mark Leland was born on February 12, 19--,(can''t give away all my secrets), in Jena, La. My late father (Troy Cockerham) was a Southern Baptist minister and my mother (Tommie Cockerham) was a firm woman that knew where to find a good switch when and if she needed to. I have one sister (Kristi) who''s always believed in me no matter what....

Growing up the son of a preacher man was never easy. My father was a very godly man and certainly practiced what he preached. Mom had the musical talent and played the piano at the church. I guess that''s where I got it from, although I have pictures of my dad playing the guitar and harmonica. But I know for sure that I didn''t inherit any vocal ability from dad. haha

I started singing solo''s in church at age 7. After that, it was on a regular basis. I picked up my first guitar at age 15 and fell in love with how it sounded. After learning a few chords that same week, I wrote my very first song which I still have today on cassette tape. It was entitle, "Someday, You''ll find the Answer". Boy, did I have a lot of learning to do.

I have a very wonderful & beautiful family. Wife, Debbie. 1 daughter, Elizabeth, 2 sons, Josh & Sam, and a stepson, Derek. They really are a blessing to my life and bring me a lot of joy and happiness.

I have known my manager and long-time friend, Tim Calhoun for quite some time now and have a few things to say concerning our friendship. Tim believed in me the first time he met and heard me. He has spent countless hours and money developing a career for me. Tim also has a son, Nathaniel, that was diagnosed with autism. I didn''t really know what it all meant up until a few months ago. You see, when you have your health, and your children are healthy, you tend to lose sight that there are others in the world that are less fortunate. Nathaniel is a beautiful and lively young boy that is making great strides in fighting back. It costs a lot of money and time off of work for Tim and other parents like him to take these kids to the hospitals and doctors. The worst part is that there are a lot of people today that have kids that have autism and can''t afford to take them to the doctor.

To make a long story short, Tim came to me and asked me to help him write a song that would somehow help these kids. I really didn''t know where to start, but agreed that I would help in any way I could. He left me with some literature about autism and what it was, and I studied it a couple of weeks before we started on the song, "Missing Pieces". What''s really important is that these kids and parents need our help. Tim and I, with the wonderful help of many great people that work in the Autism Association are going to push this song with all that we''ve got. In return, we are donating 50% of the profits of "Missing Pieces" to the Association to distribute to needy families.

I''m just a normal human being like the rest of you. I love being a singer/songwriter. I love seeing people smile. But I would surely love to know that through this song, "Missing Pieces", that we could accomplish something far greater than our own needs. The needs of these kids and families.

There are some great musicians that played on this album in Nashville, Tn., and I know that you will benefit in more ways than one by purchasing it. Again I would like to say thanks from the bottom of my heart..... Let''s all do our part in helping to put the pieces back together...

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